The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world today, celebrates its 75th Anniversary with a concert conducted by Zubin Mehta. They are joined by the internationally-renowned soloists Julian Rachlin, Evgeny Kissin and Vadim Repin in a spectacular programme of Saint-Saëns, Bach, Chopin, Chausson and Beethoven.
For many listeners, the chief attraction of this concert will be Evgeny Kissin in Chopin's First Piano Concerto. If you believe the accompaniment is just a throw away in this work, you should hear how expressively Mehta conducts it. Kissin's introduction of the first theme is truly maestoso et risoluto. His playing becomes gentle and meditative, with plenty of rubato. The first movement's B section is richly romantic. Kissin's passagework is authoritatively clear and noble. In general, the solo playing is more Russian sounding than Polish. In the romance, Kissin's playing is long lined, with careful dynamic shadings. In places it sounds a little like Tchaikovsky. Kissin's rondo is somewhat quick and percussive, in the Russian style. It's definitely vivace. His clarity of execution is quite breathtaking, with special character in the mazurka-like episode. Overall, the concerto receives a highly satisfying interpretation, if not an especially deep one. Kissin's encore, the Scherzo No.2, is fast with a thrilling sonority. The B section feels angular and intense. I was struck here by the similarity between this scherzo and Saint-Saëns's Danse Macabre, even down to a piano figuration like the Danse's violin solo.
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
♪ Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor, Op.11 (1830)
i. Allegro maestoso
iii. Rondo: Vivace
Evgeny Kissin, piano
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Recorded live at the Hangar, Tel Aviv, 24 December 2011
First publication: October 15, 2014 – Last update: October 10, 2017
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